If you make RC things, I could really use some help. If you don’t and can pass on, so someone who does make RC sees this, I’d also appreciate it. As a cosplayer, I can easily look up tutorials for [thing] or [similar thing] and at least get a general idea. But on the note of RC, I’m lost, even when reading RC beginners’ stuff, because its specific to building vehicles.

As a legally blind person who understands haw annoying time in hospitals can be, I’m a volunteer performer for kid’s charities and events, and I make costumes and perform in them. One of the ones I’ve made has a large robot strapped to my back (Clank from Ratchet and Clank), which I currently control via cable puppetry, and its voice is provided by a second performer talking into their cell phone from a distance away, with the receiver inside the robot’s mouth. I know there has to be a better way of doing this.

(Clank also has light up eyes, which are pretty hard to see outdoors and in the daytime. I already literally have my hands full, as Ratchet’s tail is a cable puppet that can twitch and sway- love to automate that but it’s lower on my list than remote controlling Clank’s operations)

I was hoping to make the robot head remote controlled, so the person who’s speaking for said robot could also move the mouth themselves (up and down only, or turn the head left and right. No other movements on the robot are needed- he’s pretty rooted to my back. In theory, I could also RC the arms, which are currently tucked into the sides, but the head’s a priority). I figure a two directional RC would be enough, one servo opening and closing the mouth, and the other turning the neck axis so the head can move left and right. At the absolute very least, I want the mouth movement RC so the person speaking can control it themselves.

This is basically all I know, I’m very out of my depth here. Do any of you have advice for a complete RC newbie? Photos are below of the puppet (with the eye plates removed) so you can see where the current support beams are inside him- running horizontally directly through the head is one beam that when turned clockwise or counter opens and closes the mouth. Another PVC beam runs from the top of the head all the way through the robot, and when it is rotated clockwise or counter, the head moves left and right. The beams meet in the center of the head, barely touch, but the friction is not enough to affect the movements of each of the other PVC pipes.

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Here you can see the cross beams. The vertical PVC pipe is made up of two sections that interlock- the top section is the neck up to the head and can turn freely inside the socket of the second PVC pipe that is affixed in place running down the center of the body all the way through supporting the neck and head. Currently, the neck pops off so that I can store the neck/head separately for transport, or remove the head at convention panels so I don’t block people sitting behind me like a jerk.

Here’s a quick sketch since it may be hard to see (heheh, as I’m blind, see, sorry, bad jokes!)

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And here’s how the moth currently works. I have to move it manually via cables, and its not easy.

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The mouthpiece itself is a lightweight piece of yoga mat barge-cemented to the central pole on each side and moves up and down when the pole is rotated

I do have power tools, and can drill and soldier.